It may be around a month later than it normally starts but the Swans will officially open their 2020/21 campaign this afternoon as they travel a relatively short way along the M4 to face Newport in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
It will be the first meeting between the two sides for almost 14 years – the Swans triumphing 3-1 in the FA Cup that day and a similar result would do nicely for Steve Cooper as he enters his second season as Swans manager.
It is a little over 5 weeks since our 2019/20 season finished at Brentford with a play off semi final defeat whilst for Newport it is their first competitive outing since 10th March when they were beaten 2-0 at Carlisle. Leagues One and Two never returned after the lockdown period leaving Newport in 14th place with the final placings being decided on a points per game basis.
The Swans have played 11 times competitively since football was shut down in March and that should give us the edge in terms of match fitness and that is before you factor in the two divisions that exist between the two sides.
They had a lot of big players leave, they had to trim costs left right and centre while he also blooded the youth. For them to get to the play offs was a fantastic achievement.
I know people were getting carried away that they were a Premier League team and should be aiming for that. – Newport boss Mile Flynn on the Swans
The Swans are of course without both Connor Roberts and Ben Cabango who are on international duty with Wales but we will start the game clear favourites against the League Two side as we look to advance to the second round of the competition that we of course won in 2013.
We should though feature new signings Korey Smith and Jamal Lowe who will both look to impress on their competitive debuts as will Morgan Gibbs-White of whom the Swans have high hopes this season. With Freddie Woodman and Marc Guehi also back on loan then we should have too much for Newport although the old cliche of the unpredictability of the cup will no doubt be reeled out at some stage.
You can of course keep updated on happenings at Newport by interacting with Swans fans in our matchday thread which can be found by clicking here